Marion v. Columbia Correctional Institution

559 F.3d 693 (7th Cir. 2009)


P and his cellmate, Snipes, were in their cell at D in Wisconsin when the prison's psychologist, Dr. Andrea Nelson, delivered puzzles to them. Snipes began arguing with P because P received more puzzles than Snipes. Snipes then charged at P; P responded by clenching his fists. When Dr. Nelson returned to the cell, she saw P's response and went to alert corrections officers. Correctional officers came to the cell to separate them; P was placed in segregation. D began formal disciplinary proceedings, which, P alleges, lacked adequate procedural protection. P claims D issued a conduct report containing false accusations of misconduct. At a hearing to allow him to contest the report, D refused P's request for two (of four) witnesses, specifically, Dr. Nelson and the captain who investigated the incident. D appointed a prison advocate for P, but the advocate failed to assist him. D kept P away from the hearing and later signed a false statement that he had refused to attend. P was disciplined with 240 days of segregation. P already was serving a term of 180 days of segregation at the less restrictive 'D.S.2' level. P moved to the more restrictive 'D.S.1' segregation unit. P claims that he was required to serve a total of 420 days in D.S.1 segregation. P filed a complaint in the district court. The district court dismissed P's complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. The court concluded that his confinement did not implicate a due process right because the discipline he received did not increase the duration of his confinement or subject him to an 'atypical and significant' hardship. P appealed.